As I said yesterday, voters in six states have had their say on the 2008 presidential candidates. As always, the presidential election is important, but voters this year face very serious issues. No matter where you stand on the issues, it’s important to consider all the candidates and then choose the one who best matches your beliefs.

In advance of Super Tuesday, I’m presenting summaries of the candidates’ statements on economic issues. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order. In order to be included on my list, they must still be in the race and be listed in the national polls at RealClearPolitics. In general, that means they’re polling above 2% nationally.

Most of these are copied from the candidate websites directly, although I had to search the internet for some statements. I relied on CNN’s election center and OntheIssues.org for most of the answers I couldn’t find on the candidates’ sites. Some statements are rephrased for length or clarity (or to cut the campaign rhetoric). I haven’t injected any personal commentary.

Mike Huckabee

Taxes

  • Eliminate all federal income and payroll taxes
  • Supports the FairTax, which will replace the Internal Revenue Code with a national sales tax
  • Provide monthly rebate for sales taxes on purchases up to the poverty line.

Healthcare

  • Make health insurance more portable from one job to another
  • Expand health savings accounts to everyone (currently limited to those with high deductibles)
  • Make health insurance tax deductible for individuals and families
  • Provide tax credits for low income families buying insurance.

Retirement

  • Provide personal retirement accounts proposed by Bush.

Economic Stimulus Package

  • No immediate plan available

Foreclosure

  • Pressure lenders to refinance loans so rates will rise more slowly and affordably
  • Increase regulation of the mortgage industry
  • Ban low teaser rates and stated income loans.

Rudy Giuliani

Taxes

  • Make Bush tax cuts permanent
  • Repeal estate tax
  • Tie Alternative Minimum Tax to inflation.

Healthcare

  • Provide tax deduction of up to $15,000 for families without employer-based health coverage
  • Institute Health Insurance Credit for low-income Americans that can be coupled with other revenue sources such as Medicaid and employer contributions to make coverage more affordable to millions who are uninsured
  • Require availability of low-cost insurance options
  • Repeal state regulations that limit coverage options and increase costs.

Retirement

  • Expand tax-free savings accounts
  • Eliminate the double taxation of individuals’ current savings.

Economic Stimulus Package

  • No plan available

Foreclosure

  • Supports government assistance for victims of predatory or fraudulent lenders.

John McCain

Taxes

  • Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
  • Make the Bush income and investment tax cuts permanent.

Healthcare

  • Eliminate the tax code bias toward employer-sponsored health insurance
  • Provide all individuals with a $2,500 tax credit ($5,000 for families) to purchase health insurance
  • Allow individuals who buy multi-year policies that cost less than the full credit to deposit remainder in expanded health savings accounts
  • Allow families to purchase nationwide insurance to increase competition and reduce costs
  • Allow individuals to buy insurance through any organization or association that they choose
  • Promote preventative care.

Retirement

  • Supplement the current Social Security system with personal accounts.

Economic Stimulus Package

  • Cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent
  • Allow first-year deduction, or “expensing”, of equipment and technology investments
  • Establish permanent tax credit equal to 10 percent of wages spent on R&D.

Foreclosure

  • No plan available

Ron Paul

Taxes

  • Exempt members of America’s armed forces from income taxes
  • Pass the Liberty Amendment, which repeals the 16th Amendment (income tax amendment)
  • Repeal capital gains and dividends taxes
  • Repeal estate tax
  • Repeal taxes on tips
  • Adopt the FairTax plan, which replaces income tax with national sales tax.

Healthcare

  • Institute medical savings accounts where consumers can save pre-tax dollars
  • MSA would be used to pay for health care expenses, with the patient negotiating directly with the physician of their choice for the care they choose
  • Ensure major-medical insurance policies remains available and affordable for catastrophic care
  • Allow families to claim a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for the rising cost of health insurance premiums
  • $500 per child tax credit for medical expenses and prescription drugs that are not reimbursed by insurance
  • $3,000 tax credit for dependent children with terminal illnesses, cancer, or disabilities.
  • Waive employee portion of Social Security payroll taxes (or self-employment taxes) for individuals with documented serious illnesses or cancer and suspend Social Security taxes for primary caregivers with a sick spouse or child.

Retirement

  • Ban government borrowing from Social Security trust fund
  • Allow young people to stop contributing to social security
  • Reduce contributions and allow people to invest money themselves
  • Repeal taxes on social security benefits.

Economic Stimulus Package

  • See tax and foreclosure plans.

Foreclosure

  • Repeal tax on mortgage debt discharges (currently, forgiven loan balances are taxes as income)

Mitt Romney

Taxes

  • Repeal tax on interest income, dividend income, or capital gains earned by people earning less than $200,000 a year
  • Make Bush tax cuts permanent
  • Reduce lowest tax rate from 10% to 7.5%
  • Repeal estate tax.

Healthcare

  • Encourage states to eliminate the cumbersome insurance regulations that increase costs and reduce competition
  • Make all health care expenses tax deductible
  • Reduce uninsured emergency room expenditures
  • Use savings from reduced emergency room expenditures to help the needy buy private insurance
  • Support tax deductions to help individuals buy private insurance.

Retirement

  • Support personal retirement accounts
  • Would consider indexing social security benefits to prices rather than wages.

Economic Stimulus Package

  • Institute immediate 100% expensing of equipment for two years
  • Permanently reduce the corporate tax rate
  • Introduce immediate retroactive tax credit reflecting the lower 7.5% tax rate for 2007 earnings to employees who earned less than $97,500 in 2007.

Foreclosure

  • Reform and expand Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan portfolio limits to allow larger loans to homeowners
  • Reduce required down payment
  • Allow FHA to help nonprime borrowers who may not be able to meet the current requirement
  • Raise the maximum loan amount for borrowers in higher-priced areas
  • Expand NeighborWorks foreclosure avoidance initiative.

Comments

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